This is a fantastic overview of what happened to the DNAinfo and Ist site as they faced down the last days before being shut down by billionaire owner Joe Ricketts and just what the communities they operated in have lost in terms of watchdogs and local voices.
That may seem worrisome when you ponder the future of a fair and independent media, but don’t worry.
It’s not as if the FCC wants to eliminate the guidelines that keep the internet a level playing field for companies both big and small to survive and thrive based not on how much they can afford to pay internet providers but on the quality of their products while ignoring comments from the public. Or that it wants to relax other rules that will allow a single company to own multiple outlets in every market, creating a homogenous media ecosystem that is accountable not to the truth but to profits.
Or that bunch of secret companies are tracking your web usage to a degree it can tell who you are, how much you make, what illnesses you might have and more, all without you opting into any such profile building.
Or that the current administration seems to be opposing the merger of two media/tech companies based largely on how one part of one of those companies has been critical of the president.
Or that the tech companies that dominate our lives still can’t get over the mindset that their algorithms can be perfected without ever once delving even once into philosophy or remotely human perspectives but seem to be content manipulating our emotions and behaviors without thought to the consequences and continuing to allow illegally targeted ads.
Or that the problems seen last week in the media world are nothing compared to the crash expertly outlined by Josh Marshall, one that will result in a number of other failures and even more layoffs that result in a glut of talent that drives wages down even if new video distribution and monetization models do emerge.
Or that a legitimately insane tax plan going through Congress could have massive ripple effects throughout the entire economy that could exacerbate already staggering income and opportunity inequality.
So, you know, we’re totally fine.
In Other News…
The FTC has updated its disclosure guidelines around influencer marketing on social media to address various issues and close various loopholes that were being exploited (sometimes with the explicit endorsement of shady agencies) to keep the audience in the dark on the presence of a paid relationship.
Yeah, it’s kind of weird that things like coffee machines and pizza are serious rallying points for political speech but that’s where we are in 2017 it seems.
I was wondering why I was getting a whole bunch of new followers on Ello (I never deleted my profile for some reason) and it seems it’s finding new life as a portfolio community for creative types.
Apparently The Washington Post is a software company now, licensing the custom CMS it created to others. Interesting, but this isn’t exactly groundbreaking as I’m fairly sure this kind of thing has been happening elsewhere in the media world since about 2005.
Following up on the post I wrote last week about how various social networks try to cater to creators as much as possible to keep their loyalty, Facebook has introduced a whole new set of tools to help people make engaging videos.
Facebook will now let you view web-based VR experiences from directly within the News Feed.
Not only has Instagram enabled people joining live broadcasts but you can now request to join the stream of the friend you’re watching.
Want even more recommendations? Check out my Pocket Shared Items.
Chris Thilk is a freelance writer and content strategist who lives in the Chicago suburbs.